Helen Ennok, Public Diplomacy Department
Tiina Kalve, a colleague who for some time has been organising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ quiz to introduce Estonia has said that she will miss most the e-mails when eventually she is not involved in the quiz any more, such as the email in which the winners of last year’s quiz invited her to the wedding of their daughter, or where a young man from the other side of the world writes about his hope of winning the main prize because this is the only way for him to travel to his beloved girl living in Estonia.
All of us who know of this great quiz have sent a link with the web address to our dear friends abroad wishing that they could visit Estonia and us. We also want them to learn more about our beautiful and interesting Estonia by testing their knowledge and searching for information to find the correct answers and then visit us.
You will find the quiz at quiz.mfa.ee. The quiz is in two languages, English and Russian. It consists of 12 multiple-choice questions covering different aspects of Estonian life. With the help of the different Internet links provided on the quiz page, it should be fun and easy for everyone to discover something new about Estonia. The grand prize is a free trip to Estonia for two, including airfare, accommodation, meals, city tours and more. In addition to the grand prize there will also be drawings for other prizes, which include tour packages in Estonia. The quiz will officially close on 31 May and the names of the winners will be published on 6 June 2014.
The large number of participants each spring, the many fans it has attracted that enter the quiz and the loyalty of the contributors that have been supporting this event prove that the web quiz, which began in the beginning of 2001, is a wholly successful project. In the first quiz year, almost 500 correct answers were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and last year a record number of 12,407 people from 132 countries took part in the quiz. As always, the quiz was conducted in two languages – English and Russian.
Contributors are very important for us because without them this trip to Estonia would never happen. Estonian Air provides the pairs of airplane tickets for the two winners of the main prize, i.e. the winner of the quiz in Russian and the winner in English. With the assistance of other contributors, we put together five all inclusive travel packages with hotel accommodation, restaurant meals, museum tickets, etc. for six to seven days, so that the guests can get to know Estonia at their ease, and thoroughly.
Most of our contributors have been supporting this event for many years now and as Kairit Vishnenko, sales and marketing manager of Hotel L´Ermitage, says, assisting the quiz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has become a tradition for them. All of the contributors are delighted to provide their prizes for the quiz. Tiina Kalve confirms that, based on her experience, the supporters that have been with us from the beginning of this quiz consider participating very important.
The fans that take the quiz every single time are as involved as our supporters. Tiina can speak about letters that she has received as early as the beginning of the year, such as the one from a person who is likely a national of Hungary, to go by the name, that wishes to participate in the quiz and informs her about a changed e-mail address so that the notification about the opening of the quiz will not go unnoticed.
A good quiz is always a result of good cooperation. The whole Public Diplomacy Department is engaged in coming up with the questions; our artist, who in recent years has been Agnes Trump, creates the design; and the IT issues are taken care of by the Wiseman company.
We are especially glad about the positive feedback from people, both participants and contributors. The guests that have arrived in Estonia have been very glad and happy that they have happened to be the winners of this trip to Estonia. Just imagine a married couple from Russia that had spent their honeymoon in Tallinn years ago or students from Portugal for whom Estonia is a very interesting and exotic country.
And finally let’s just remember how this once started:
The idea of the quiz belongs to the diplomat Jana Vanamölder. Jana remembers that we were facing a question about how to introduce Estonia to the world in the first years of the 2000s because our country was not well known beyond its borders. Interest was there but we had very little informative materials to distribute to the interested. We needed smarter solutions in addition to traditional publications and advertising. So, we thought about an Internet-based quiz that would reach the whole world, be exciting and have a price – a trip to Estonia.
Throughout the years, many employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been involved in organising this quiz and it has become one of the most successful Ministry of Foreign Affairs projects of all time in introducing Estonia. And it is beneficial to all involved – participants, contributors and the whole of Estonia. 🙂